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Four Questions About Human Rights with Bruce Cockburn

Four Questions About Human Rights with Bruce Cockburn

This weekend, Winnipeggers eagerly awaiting the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will gather at The Forks for the grand opening celebrations. We were thrilled to partner with the Museum to curate three shows happening this weekend.

A Manitoban showcase featuring Del Barber, Royal Canoe, marijosée, Sierra Noble and The Bros. Landreth will take place on Saturday, September 20 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM on the RightsFest Mainstage.

Find diversity on stage at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Concert on September 20 from 6:30 – 9:00 PM with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bruce Cockburn, SHAD, Ashley MacIsaac, A Tribe Called Red and Marie Pierre Arthur.

On Sunday, September 21, Folk Fest alumni Delhi 2 Dublin will play the RightsFest Mainstage along with DUGAS and Oh My Darling. Click here for the full schedule of events this weekend. 

In anticipation of the opening celebrations, we spoke to Bruce Cockburn about human rights and the link between issues and music.

Four Questions About Human Rights with Bruce Cockburn

What does being part of the opening celebrations of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights mean to you?

It’s a great honour to be asked to participate in this event. Many people are looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to being there.

What do you think the role of music is in human rights?

It’s an indirect connection. When I write a song, it’s about a person I met, a situation I was in and how I felt about it. If there is a connection to human rights, then that’s what the song is about. I don’t sit down and try to write a human rights song, but if I meet a survivor of a refugee camp, that experience inspires me to sit down and write “If I Had A Rocket Launcher.”

Music is also educational. People may not read the right blogs or papers to find out about human rights, but they can listen to a song and learn.

How has activism and the pursuit of Human Rights shaped your music?

When I was going to music school, I remember hearing Buffy Sainte-Marie at a club in Boston. The songs that she sang were meaningful and had a profound influence on me. I can say the same of the songs by Bob Dylan. Their affect is two-fold: they taught me that it’s okay to write songs about human rights, not just about love, and that way of writing is powerful. I hope to make other people feel that way with my music.

Who is your inspiration?

So many artists and experiences – whatever or whoever makes me look around and feel. 

Tags

bruce cockburn, canadian museum for human rights

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